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Le Voile on Newbury Street

c
CanIHaveABite Aug 16, 2007 10:07 AM

I saw a sign for "Le Voile" posted on one of the buildings between Fairfield & Gloucester. Anyone know anything? Perhaps it's the French Brasserie Bouchee was "supposed" to be.

  1. p
    PeteB Nov 12, 2007 05:19 AM

    We went Saturday evening. We intentionally arrived early to sit at the bar for a bit before being seated. A quick note here - at this point, they do not have the type of liquor license that allows them to serve any hard liquor - so the bar is strictly wine (and I think beer). There are some very nice choices by the glass and some expert help more than willing to direct your choice if you wish. While we were enjoying a glass of wine and some chit/chat with the bartender, we were presented with a couple of complimentary appetizers which were both delicious.
    Things have apparently settled down a bit since the opening weekend, but we did pick up on some stress at the front desk. There were no outright clumsy moments, but they just seemed very nervous about getting everything right.
    We decided to share a couple of items as starters - we selected the Terrine Duck Foie Gras (one of the 3 preparations of Foie Gras on the menu) and the plate of 5 cheeses. Everything was just excellent.
    For our main course, my wife selected the Grilled Sea Bass and I chose the Dover Sole Meuniere. These were priced on the high end of the menu choices, at $31 and $42 respectively. Both were deftly de-boned tableside by our waiter. The bass was tasty and had an accompanying sauce that was a perfect balance for it. (You do need to be diligent with this preparation, however, because you are still dealing with a fair number of bones. ) The sole was even better than the bass.

    There was a small tureen of vegetables that accompanied both dishes which were tasty, but not memorable.
    For dessert, we shared a Moelleuz au Chocolat (essentially a flourless chocolate cake with a molten center) accompanied by a little pistachio ice cream. Both the ice cream and the cake were delightfully tasty. A cup of espresso topped off a thoroughly enjoyable evening for me.

    Our waiter was the same guy described in an earlier post (Jean-Charles). He is one of two employees (the chef being the other) who moved here from Cannes with the restaurant. He was still not completely smooth in his communication, but he was a very good and clearly experienced waiter. He hussled, was attentive (but not at all obtrusive) and while tending multiple tables, always knew what to re-prioritize on the fly.

    I am sure they will all get more relaxed as the settle in to their new digs for a little longer... but this is already a place I'd recommend to anyone.

    I did ask about the hours - although initially the plan was for the dinner-only limitation for just the first week or so, they are not yet open for any other meals. Seems like it may still be a couple of weeks from what we could gather.

    1. s
      sophie fox Nov 10, 2007 11:06 AM

      *bump!*

      La Voile sounds very interesting, but I don't know that it requires three virtualy identical threads - this was the first one.
      I'm sure that La Voile can only be better than the visually- and attitudinally-overwrought Bouchee, where the food appears to be an afterthought.

      1. b
        BBHound Nov 10, 2007 07:14 AM

        Place link:

        My comments on the link for La Voile - Magnifique.

        -----
        La Voile
        261 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

        1. C. Hamster Nov 5, 2007 11:41 AM

          Do they do lunch? [drooling]

          1. b
            bear Nov 4, 2007 10:49 AM

            Great report. Can't wait until they start serving breakfast. Newbury needs a really good breakfast spot.

            1. MaggieMuffin Nov 4, 2007 10:34 AM

              I ate at Voile on Friday night - note this was opening Friday night.

              We had an early reservation so were some of the first to arrive. We were late for our reservation, but we were still rewarded with a nice table near a window. The service to get us to our table was terribly disorganized: from deciding who would seat us to sorting out the menus. But, it was their first week....

              The menu is very authentic French bistro fair, with strong Mediterranean influences. My husband is from France and even he was impressed with the line-up. There was a good selection of appetizers and then a seperate list of fish or meat main options. I was impressed with the depth of options: from the bone marrow appetizer to the sweetbread entree. They warned us that they did not have a lot of basics, including French fries, but again first week....The one that that really surprised me was the price points on items. Appetizers were 8-12, mains 18-24 or so, much lower than most places in the area and for French restaurants in general. The wine list was extensive and had bottles from the mid-20's to many hundreds, giving an option for everyone. The bottles were well laid out by character, region, and varietals.

              The waiter was French to the point that he barely understood English and was not familiar with American habits. For example, one of us ordered dressing on the side, but the request was met with a great deal of incomprehension. However, once our orders were in, the food arrive promptly. There was one mix-up with an order, but the problem was resolved quickly.

              However, the food was EXCELLENT. In fact, this was some of the best classic French fare we have tried in town, and we have been to most French restaurants. The waiter brought over some amuse bouches, including slices of some of the best saucission we have had this side of the Atlantic. My husband had the soupe au poisson, one of his favorites since he grew up on the Cote D'azur and it was excellent and generous. The rouille was well done. I had the bone marrow, which was delicious. One of our friends had the foie gras creme brulee (interesting presentation and tasty).

              For mains, I had the sweetbreads, my husband the halibut, and both were very expertly prepared and very tasty. I actually loved my dish: sweetbreads in a morel sauce. I'll go back for just that dish....I love morels in cream on anything. The sides were classic, simple, and well done.

              We passed on dessert, but the cheese tray was very tempting...

              The space was well decorated with soft lighting and designed to keep noise down. There are small tables and large tables so they should reasonably be able to accommodate large groups.

              All in all, a great new addition to the French bistro scene in Boston. They really need to work out some of the kinks in their service, as it was borderline disastrous, but the food quality suggest this place should do well. For the 4 of us, appetizers, mains, and a bottle of water was about $50 a head including service. I am going to give them a month or so to work out their service issues and will try them again....

              3 Replies
              1. re: MaggieMuffin
                t
                tamerlanenj Nov 4, 2007 10:47 AM

                Wow! Very promising! Thanks. I'm starting the official Bouchee deathwatch. too bad, so sad! ;-)

                1. re: MaggieMuffin
                  g
                  gramercyfoodie Nov 4, 2007 12:39 PM

                  sounds like they also hit the right price points (which seem to be missing around town)...

                  1. re: MaggieMuffin
                    c
                    chicagotransplant Nov 5, 2007 11:21 AM

                    We ate there on Saturday night. A very rainy night, and they greeted us at the door with towels, assistance with wet coats, and placement for umbrellas. An excellent start to what turned out to be a wonderful meal.

                    I couldn't agree more on the saucisson. My only disappointment was that my friends ate their portions, as well. Between the four of us, we ordered the Leek salad (a little bland on the dressing); marrow (good portion size); endive salad; roast chicken (very well seasoned, crispy); veal loin (perfectly cooked, juicy, flavorful, tender beyond belief); and bouillabaise. Conversation ceased once our entrees arrived. To top of excellent entrees, the sides were plentiful (ratatouille, potato gratin, roasted tomato with herb stuffing) and beautifully presented. Desserts, while small, were wonderful; designed as a little something sweet after the meal, not as an additional course.

                    Service was quick, unobtrusive, and attentive. Can't wait to enjoy the beautiful patio when the weather is as hospitable as the owners and staff at La Voile.

                  2. v
                    vinovino Nov 2, 2007 09:08 AM

                    This is the first place on Newbury I'm genuinely interested in. We'll certainly check it out in a few weeks.

                    1. w
                      wags Nov 1, 2007 03:54 AM

                      From yesterday's ZagatBuzz:

                      What sets La Voile, a charming brasserie in the tony Back Bay, apart from the others around town is its genuine connection to France, from its owners operating an eatery with the same name in Cannes to its imported decor (1920s zinc bar, red velvet banquettes, nautical lighting); with a focus on Mediterranean cuisine, its moderately priced menu offers all the classics. - 261 Newbury St.; 617-587-4200

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: wags
                        MC Slim JB Nov 1, 2007 06:59 AM

                        It would be great if they did authentic Provençal cuisine and didn't dumb it down. What are the chances this will happen on Newbury Street?

                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                          p
                          PeteB Nov 1, 2007 09:26 AM

                          Have a reservation to try this place out next Saturday, the 10th, so I'll let you know what we find. (The place is currently only open for dinner, but reportedly will be open for breakfast / dinner shortly.) Saw the place last week and it looks encouraging, but as I was there mid-day, alas no chance to try it out that day.

                      2. p
                        PatMRS Oct 31, 2007 01:27 PM

                        I'm bringing a group into Boston in November (a meeting we have there every November since Noah was a lad) and we like to try the new restaurants that are walking distance from the Hynes. I can't find any reviews of The Voile. Has anybody been yet? Any recommendations? Wish they had a web site, but I guess it'll come in time.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: PatMRS
                          t
                          tamerlanenj Oct 31, 2007 01:33 PM

                          I'd heard a rumor that it was open and stopped by Monday, but it was most definitely not. We wound up with some decent tapas at Tapeo instead.

                          1. re: tamerlanenj
                            b
                            BBHound Oct 31, 2007 01:40 PM

                            I think it opens tomorrow (Nov.1). It may be a while longer before they open for breakfast or lunch.

                        2. b
                          Bostonbob3 Oct 24, 2007 11:18 AM

                          Here's the scoop. It sounds very promising.

                          http://www.bostonherald.com/entertain...

                          1. f
                            Fatty 2x4 Oct 24, 2007 07:52 AM

                            It's La Voile, and it will be owned and run by a completed imported French team, kitchen and front of house included. I don't know the price scale as of yet, but it opens tomorrow, and I'm really excited. I can only hope they don't serve frozen fries (rumored to be "the same as Mcdonalds") like Gaslight.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Fatty 2x4
                              MC Slim JB Oct 24, 2007 08:53 AM

                              Interesting: I don't believe the Newbury Guest House has ever had a restaurant. It's a good little B&B type of place for the neighborhood.

                              Many restaurants, even some of the better French ones in town, don't hand-cut their own fries/frites in-house. One of the few that I know hand-cuts fresh potatoes for fries is Pops. I'd be curious if other Hounds know definitively which other places don't use frozen fries. (I agree that Gaslight's are pretty weak.)

                            2. t
                              tamerlanenj Aug 23, 2007 11:26 AM

                              Is this the former Inq space?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: tamerlanenj
                                BostonZest Aug 23, 2007 01:27 PM

                                No, it is on the same side, in the middle of the Gloucester/Fairfield block. It is in the basement of Newbury Guest House and they have added a large patio in front.

                                1. re: tamerlanenj
                                  MC Slim JB Oct 24, 2007 09:04 AM

                                  The former INQ space, aka the inimitable Luigi & Roscoe's at INQ, is going to be Cafeteria, an Italian place with pizza, sandwiches, and pastas.

                                2. BostonZest Aug 16, 2007 11:39 AM

                                  Was it the basement space of the Newbury Guest House? That was supposed to have a French chef and I think I remember that it would serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and be neighborhood friendly. Of course we've heard that before at many restaurant hearings in the Back Bay.

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